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31 august 2007

Alinco DJ-580


I owned one of this portables in the mid of 90's.
Was bought from a flea market for around 500 bucks... A enormous price, but... I did want it!
The radio was a little too bulky as I have a TH-79 to compare. Also, the menu was a little bit confusing for my brain.
The sensitivity was poor and the selectivity was the same. I repeat, in comparation with the Kenwood dual bander TH-79.
I remember that I had have to make some hardware modifications in order to achieve full duplex operation.
The transmitter was the same as the receiving. Poor.
But you have to consider that I used the stock antenna and, at that time, I didn't know that stock antennas performed generally bad.
The great thing was the dual band receive.
Generally speaking, I think that the DJ-580 was a replica to the well-built Yaesu FT-530.
If asked, I will not buy again!

yo3hjv

26 august 2007

Antena multiband HF pentru portabil



Am reusit sa finalizez articolul referitor la realizarea unei antene pentru lucrul din portabil, multiband HF.
In urma testelor a rezultat ca antena poate fi instalata in maxim 15 minute si acopera foarte bine benzile HF de la 80-10m, inclusiv benzile WARC.

Costul de "productie" al antenei este de maxim 60 de lei, iar ansamblarea are loc in cateva ore.
Raman la parerea mea, ca antena merita construita! Mai bine cumpar un antenna tuner automat cu care pot sa acordez diverse antene. In fond si la urma urmei, radioamatorismul inseamna si ceva constructie, cred eu!

Voi posta in continuare textul articolului, cei care doresc sa studieze si imaginile luate in timpul executarii antenei, pot descarca varianta in format pdf.


Antena verticala HF.

Acum aproximativ 10 ani, foloseam din plin banda CB. Era ceva mai “linistita” decat azi iar utilizatorii mai cu bun simt. In acea perioada, o antena “de fabrica” costa destul de mult si era relativ greu de procurat, astfel incat am incercat sa realizez una din materiale “domestice”. Intrucat experienta a fost reusita iar antena rezultata a functionat mai bine de 6 ani pe terasa unui bloc (in ultimii doi ani chiar am utilizat-o cu succes in gama 6-80m cu ajutorul unui Antenna Tuner marca LDG, model AT11MP), am hotarat sa repet experienta, de data aceasta cu unele imbunatatiri si renuntand la banda de 80 de metri.

Scopul initial, dupa cum am aratat mai sus, a fost obtinerea unei antene verticale fiabile, cu rezultate relativ bune si cu costuri cat mai scazute intr-un timp de ordinul orelor.

Antena verticala prezinta o serie de avantaje, incepand cu unghiul de radiatie care o face atractiva pentru DX si terminand cu spatiul redus necesar pentru instalare.

Antena urma sa fie de tip “center loaded”, adica cu bobina la mijloc pentru a mai reduce impedanta la punctul de conectare.

Principalele “ingrediente” pentru aceasta antena sunt:

- Undita de fibra de sticla (probabil ca merge si fibra carbon) de 7 m.

-15 m de cablu electric Cu multifilar torsadat izolat cu PVC si cu sectiune de 2-4 mm;

- Teava de instalatie electrica cu diametrul de 18-20mm, aproximativ 20 cm;

- Un umeras din sarma otelita de aproximativ 1,5 mm diametru;

- Coliere pentru prinderea furtunului de admisie de aer al carburatorului de Dacie;

- Superglue sau glue termic;

- Tub eletroziolant termoconstrictor;

- Banda izolatoare semielastica;

- Sarma Cu izolata, monofilara, diametru 1,5mm, aproximativ 50 cm;

- 3 clestisori pentru fir electric;

- 1 m de cablu coaxial de tip RG 58.

Costul total al materialelor este de aproximativ 60 de lei, cu mici variatii in functie de suma platita pe undita (aproximativ 20-25 lei).

In primul rand, vom taia din tubul de PVC pentru instalatie electrica doua segmente de aproximativ 10 cm. Pe acestea le vom gauri strapuns pe o generatoare a cilindrului rezultat, cu un burghiu de aproximativ 4mm, la distanta de aproximativ 5 mm de capete.

Vom realiza doua bobine, una cu fir izolat multifilar, cea de a doua cu fir monofilar, pastrand izolatia originala.

Prima bobina, realizata cu firul multifilar, are pas variabil, in sensul ca incepe cu spira langa spira, marind treptat pasul infasurarii. Vom obtine astfel aproximativ 25spire. Numarul de spire nu este critic intrucat antena pe care dorim sa o realizam va fi folosita cu un tuner. Scopul acestei bobine este de a realiza o lungire artificiala a elementului radiant. Bobina urmeaza sa fie amplasata la jumatatea antenei, in interiorul unuia dintre segmentele telescopice ale unditei.

Desfacem undita telescopica si extragem prin capatul de jos (spre maner) sectiunea cea mai subtire a unditei. De cele mai multe ori, in cazul unditelor din fibra de sticla, aceasta sectiune este si ea goala pe interior pana la capat, unde diametrul intern are aproximativ 1 mm.

Taiem o bucata de aproximativ 30 de cm din sarma otelita a umerasului si o indreptam. Apoi, cu ajutorul unei pile si a unui decapant bun (eventual incercati cu o aspirina daca alta solutie nu da rezultate) cositorim acel capat.


Celalalt capat il pilim astfel incat sa nu prezinte bavuri.

Desizolam o mica bucata din firul multifilar de Cu si o lipim pe sarma otelita apoi punem o bucata de aproximativ 3 cm de tub termoconstrictor peste lipitura.

Introducem cu atentie sarma in segmentul unditei si imobilizam, fie cu putin superglue (totusi e casant!) fie cu ajutorul unui pistol cu clei termic.

Taiem cablul de Cu multifilar la aproximativ 4 m de la varf (aceasta masuratoare include si segmentul de fir otelit introdus in segmentul cel mai mic al unditei).

Scoatem pe rand inca trei segmente din undita, in ordinea grosimii, astfel incat sa putem ansambla deja jumatatea superioara a unditei, trecand firul prin interior. Cel mai probabil ca bobina cu pas variabil va incapea lejer in segmentul cel mai propiat de cei 3,5m necesari pentru partea superioara a elementului radiant.

Realizam o conexiune solida din punct de vedere electric dar si mecanic a firului cu bobina si o introducem in tub.

Bobina va avea spirele cu pasul mai mare catre manerul unditei, implicit pasul mai des spre varf.

Pe modelul de undita folosit de mine, 3,5 m de radiant inseamna ca la extinderea unditei, bobina se gaseste complet incorporata intr-un segment.

La al doilea capat al bobinei realizam o legatura similara pentru alta bucata de fir.

Ansamblam in totalitate undita pentru a stabili repere pe cablul care coboara catre maner si apoi taiem, cu o rezerva de aproximativ 20 cm.

A doua bobina, realizata tot pe tub PVC pentru instalatie electrica are rolul de a descarca in curent continuu antena, protejan astfel transceiverul la descarcari electrostatice, mai ales cand aneta este amplasata pe bloc. Dezavantajul major este ca reduce randamentul la frecvente scazute, facand operarea in banda de 80 de m aproape imposibila.

Bobina se realizeaza din fir solid de Cu pentru a suporta eventualele traznete care ar putea lovi antena.


Fac o paranteza: Vechea antena pe care am inlocuit-o avea o astfel de gaura in materialul unditei, probabil de la un brat secundar al unui traznet. Din fericire bobina de descarcare a suportat descarcarea desi a iesit cam afumata!

Aceasta bobina va avea si ea tot aprozimativ 25 spire. O solutie ar fi inlocuirea acestei bobine cu un tub de descarcare in gaz, special destinat descarcarii statice. Alta solutie ar fi inlocuirea cu o bobina realizata pe un tor de ferita, cu impedanta foarte mare.

In fine, scopul acestui articol nu este sa trateze matematic si stiintific antena verticala si elementele sale de acord ci doar sa ofere o alternativa rapida si necostisitoare la antenele de fabrica.

Deci, revenim la cea de-a doua bobina: La un capat conectam firul care vine dinspre varful unditei si firul cald al cablului coaxial iar in celalalt capat realizam un cerc ( sau orice forma care sa permita agatarea clestisorilor) din aceeasi sarma folosita la bobinaj si conectam tresa cablului coaxial.

Antena se instaleaza fie pe un stalp fie pe un tarus metalic sau din material izolant, pe sol, cu ajutorul celor doua coliere de carburator. Este bine ca la instalare, sa infasuram manerul unditei intr-o bucata de cauciuc recuperat de la o camera auto pentru a evita spargerea fibrei de sticla.

Si mai bine ar fi daca am glisa peste maner o bucata izolator termic pentru instalatiile de aer conditionat. Este un material spongios care serveste foarte bine acestui scop.

Verticala functioneaza optim daca utilizam si trei “contragreutati” de lungime aleatoare (intre 1 si 2 metri) realizate din restul de sarma de Cu multifilar.

Antena este gata pentru a fi folosita, dar, mare grija, folositi si un tuner!

Prima astfel de antena nu a avut bobina la mijloc iar lungimea efectiva a elementului radiant era de aproximativ 5,7m intrucat ultimul segment al unditei era plin si a trebuit sa il elimin din constructie. In 6 ani de utilizare am avut placerea de a lucra statii din Europa, America de Sud si Africa. Segmentele au fost lipite in pozitie cu superglue ceea ce a facut ca antena sa nu mai poata fi pliata.

A doua antena construita pe acelasi principiu are acum 7 metri “full” si bobina in interior.

Intentionez sa mai realizez o antena asemanatoare pentru a o utiliza in regim portabil.

Problema majora in cazul antenelor verticale o constituie rezistenta mecanica la factorii de mediu iar undita este un element mecanic proiectat sa suporte sarcini mari ceea ce o face deosebit de atractiva. Radiantul poate fi, fie trecut pe exteriorul antenei – ceea ce face antena sa devina fragila la sarcini mecanice pe directia firului radiant, fie prin interior –ceea ce o face sa raspunda uniform la sarcini generate de vanturi, indiferent de directia pe care acestea actioneaza.

Totodata, greutatea unei undite, fie ea si cu un fir si o bobina in interior este cu mult mai mica decat greutatea unei antene la lungime similara realizata din aluminiu sau alte materiale.

Inca nu stiu ce nume sa ii dau acestei antene! Probabil ca va fi un acronim de genul: AVMHFPRI, adica Antena Verticala Multiband HF Pentru Radioamatorii cu Idei… J Este un punct de plecare pentru o constructie pe care o puteti imbunatati.

Cel mai important aspect al ei este ca va ofera o satisfactie la sfarsitul a maxim 2 ore de munca plus inca o ora pentru adunatul materialelor, alta ora pentru instalarea pe bloc si maxim 100 de lei cheltuiti! Tocmai buna pentru o duminica ploioasa, nu credeti?

Sper ca aceste randuri sa va faca sa redescoperiti pasiunea de a construi.

Adrian Florescu

YO3HJV


24 august 2007

My radio shack

Today I decided to put some pictures and some descriptions of my equipments on this site.
Because of limited space here, I made a custom-designed furniture. From the room, it looks like a bookcase but from lateral is my radio shack...
So, here are the pictures:
1-IBM Thinkpad T43 for home operation. For Portable I use a smaller one, without optical unit, just the minimum needs: X40. Both have extended battery for a minimum 4 hours usage;
2-ALINCO DM 330 MVE switching power supply with a 12V/12A SLA back-up battery; Yaesu MD-1ooDesktop microphone modified to work with Kenwood radios.
3-Main radio unit: Kenwood TS2000X with a 2m/70cm diplexer on the upper side. The diplexer is visible on the last picture (Hi res);
4-Secondary radio unit: Yaesu FT857D. Two ATU: AT11-MP (for Kenwood radio and a smaller Z100 for Yaesu FT857D. For 2m, a dedicated Icom IC2100H (with a dipole antenna at my window. I live at 8'th floor!). In the left side of this unit, is a small Frequency counter housed in a pager case. This is very useful to capture what's on air in proximity...
5-Home made 1.5Ghz frequency counter;
6-Various devices. A Graupner Ultramat 25 multirole battery charger-maintainer-analyzer unit (very useful for charging portable batteries).
7-10 various portable radios: Alinco DJ-G5, Yaesu VX-150, Motorola GP300, Kenwood TH-F7 and Vertex VX-10 UHF,

I have 3 cables up to the roof (pictures coming soon) for a x-5000 triband antenna, a vertical home made HF multiband (from a fishpole stick) and one is left for future development (HI).
Also, like I said, I have a vertical dipole on my window just for 2m local QSO. "Local" means that I can open repeaters about 130km away...

For VHF/UHF I used Heliax cable and for HF LMR.
The three cables are routed behind the radios, inside the furniture, except the window-dipole which is routed by a pipe through the wall.

I do not make my own radios because I do not have so much time and patience but I like to eperiment with antennas!

Software I use for ham "business":

-Ham radio Deluxe;
-MixW;
-MMANA.

I plan to use a RigExpert Standard USB interface (I wait the shipment) for digital modes. Now I use a home made... hm... interface (just plain wires and connectors) in order to make some order here!

You can call me on 20m band in PSk31, Olivia, AMTOR and other digital modes...

So... this is my shack!

Adrian
yo3hjv

RFSM-2400 Digital mode

The following article is in romanian language as I intend to make it accesible to romanian hams. The original documentation about this digimode can be found on the internet, especially on this page.


Din curiozitate si dintr-o usoara plictiseala legata de eternul SSB in benzile de unde scurte, am inceput sa "sap" pe internet dupa tot felul de moduri digitale
exotice.
Am ajuns la acest obiectiv dupa ce am citit un material despre experienta unui radioamator in urma dezastrului de la WTC din 11 septembrie 2001, cand reteaua de urgenta ARES a radioamatorilor americani a intrat in functiune.
Una din problemele ridicate de reteaua de urgenta a fost transmiterea de liste cu necesarul de materiale si cu beneficiarii acestora.

Solutia gasita de radioamatori a fost utilizarea de moduri digitale care sa permita transmisia cu cat mai putine erori a datelor, date care sa poata fi integrate automat in diferite sisteme de evidenta. Ma rog, daca nu automat, atunci macar sa poata fi copiate in alte programe fara sa fie nevoie sa fie rescrise de mana. Pe scurt, o solutie sigura care sa consume cat mai putin timp din partea operatorului.
Acestui deziderat ii raspunde cel mai bine radio-pachetul, care permite transmisia la o viteza relativ ridicata de 1200 baud.
Totusi, viteza propusa este atinsa in retelele constituite pe UUS, in a
numite conditii. Pentru retelele HF, viteza la care se poate spera este de aproximativ 300-400 baud. Transmisia unui fisier tip document tabelar (aprox. 30Kb) ar dura extrem de mult in aceste conditii. Ma refer la transmisia pe unde scurte.
Alte solutii derivate din TTY pot satisface cerinta transmisiei de text dar nu sunt la fel de bine protejate impotriva erorilor, putand genera incurcaturi in mediul specific generat de un eveniment de natura sa mobilizeze o retea de urgenta.

Tot cautand, am gasit ceva informatii despre un nou mod digital propus de radioamatorii din Rusia si Finlanda.
Este vorba de un mod digital, capabil sa transmita la o viteza superioara, in jurul valorii de 3000bps in benzile de unde scurte, cu algoritmi de corectie a erorilor.
Acest mod de lucru a fost dezvoltat plecand de la standardul militar MIL-STD-188-110A.
Programul se numeste RFSM-2400, acronim de la Radio Frequency Software Modem si poate fi descarcat de aici.

Programul se prezinta sub forma unei arhive zip. Il descarcati si il dezarhivati ca atare, el creind un folder denumit RFSM ce contine toate fisierele necesare rularii

Autorii programului recomanda o configuratie destul de “puternica” pentru calculator:

- Procesor: Pentium-III 600 / Athlon 600 sau peste.
- RAM: Minim 32Mb (presupun ca acestia sunt cei ramasi liberi in afara resurselor cerute de sistemul de operare).

- Video: minim VGA 640x480
- Placa sunet, DirectX-compatible, 44100 Hz sau 48000 Hz.
- OS: Windows 95/98/ME/2K/XP/2003 (with DirectX 5.0+) or Linux (with WINE).
- COM-port (pentru controlul PTT). Nu este neaparat necesar, putandu-se folosi functia VOX a TRX-ului.

Programul permite urmatoarele actiuni:

-chat intre statiile conectate;

-transfer de fisiere la 2400baud;

-acces internet;

-transfer de mesaje e-mail.

Iata si cateva din caracteristicile lui:

- utilizeaza modulatia definita de MIL-STD-188-110A (inclusiv versiunile modificate).
- viteza maxima de transfer: 3200 bps (standard) and 2666 bps (non-standard).
- banda de frecventa ocupata: 0,3-3,3 kHz (standard) si 0,3-2,7 kHz (non-standard).
- sistem adaptiv de corectie..
- foloseste optimizare SSE2 (depinde de disponibilitatea procesorului)
- poate utiliza portul COM pentru controlul TRX.
- permite corectia erorilor generate de placa de sunet.
- transferul de fisiere utilizeaza tehnica ARQ (Repetarea blocului d
e date compromis)
- baze de date simplificate pentru statiile corespondente si pentru monitorizarea pachetelor.

Personal, am creat in radacina C:/ un folder denumite Digimodes, cu subfolder pentru fiecare program instalat. In felul acesta este mai usor sa le gasesc atunci cand doresc sa accesez diferitele fisiere log necesare pentru “reglaje”.

Pentru a porni programul, cautam in folderul RFSM rezultat in urma dezarhivarii fisierul RFSM2400.exe. Dublu click pe fisier sau cream un shortcut pe desktop pentru acces mai facil.

Odata lansat programul, pe ecran vom avea fereastra principala a acestuia:

Din cate am observat, programul utilizeaza rutinele DirectX ale Windows-ului. Mesajul “Wait connection” semnifica starea de asteptare a unui semnal care sa fie decodificat.

Bara de pictograme este dublata de meniului tip Text din partea superioara a ferestrei de program.

Primul pas pe care vi-l recomand este sa accesati meniului Options>Preferences sau direct pe pictograma cu unelte, unde vom seta cativa parametri necesari unei functionari corecte.

Este important sa retineti ca programul face distinctie intre caracterele minuscule si caractere majuscule ale indicativelor! Astfel, YO3HJV este diferit de yo3hjv si o conexiune care are ca destinatar o statie al carei indicativ este definit cu majuscule va trebui solicitata tot cu majuscule. Conventional s-a ales utilizarea majusculelor.

Al doilea pas, foarte important, este setarea placii de sunet. Acestea sunt accesibile pe tablita “Hardware” a meniului :

Optiunile “DirectSound devices” si “WaveIn devices” se refera la utilizarea resurselor software (DirectX) si, respectiv, hardware, ale calculatorului in tratarea sunetului. Eu am utilizat cu succes resursa hardware intrucat dispun de mai multe placi de sunet atasate pe USB la calculator si am alocat direct resursa hardware.

Sub aceste optiuni, se observa meniul de setare a frecventei de esantionare a placii alese, atat la receptie cat si la emisie. Programul poate utiliza placi audio cu doua frecvente de esantionare: 48kHz si 44,1kHz. Placa aleasa esantioneaza la 44,1kHz, asadar am ales aceasta varianta. Meniul “Rx Real…” si “Tx real…” sunt utilizate pentru a calibra cat mai exact placa de sunet in scopul atingeri performantei maxime la rata de transfer. Eu nu am realizat aceasta calibrare.

Pentru posesorii de calculatoare cu procesor multimedia sau mai bun, exista optiunea de a bifa utilizarea de algoritmi SSE2. Utilizarea lor degreveaza procesorul de o serie de sarcini suplimentare.

Dupa ce am efectuat aceste setari, este nevoie sa alegem modul de lucru. Acesta este disponibil pe tablita “Modulation”:

Modurile de lucru disponibile sunt:

-Mil … standard, banda audio extinsa, astfel cum este definita prin standard;

-Non-standard, banda audio restransa;

-Dumb modem, mod de lucru in care este exclusa interventia utilizatorului (utila pentru functia de nod retranslator), posibila doar impreuna cu modul Non standard.

In acest meniu de configurare mai avem tablite pentru controlul modului in care este actionat PTT-ul statiei, culorile mesajelor etc. Nu insist asupra acestor setari intrucat nu sunt esentiale pentru exploatarea programului ci constituie elemente de personalizare a interfetei grafice.

Odata ce am efectuat aceste setari, putem inchide acest meniu, incepand utilizarea propriu zisa a programului.

Conectarea cu transceiver-ul se realizeaza prin intermediul unei interfete intre placa de sunet a calculatorului si TRX. Personal am folosit o conexiune directa, fara transformatoare si fara element de comanda derivat din COM, exploatand facilitatea VOX existenta pe transceiver. Intrucat acest mod de conectare l-am verificat cu alte moduri digitale iar semnalele sunt curate, fara semnale parazite sau brum, nu am gasit motiv sa renunt la el.

Nu intru in detalii privind aceasta conectare intrucat ea difera de la TRX la TRX. Pot insa sa va recomand sa elimineati orice filtre si egalizatoare pe traseul audio, sa setati constanta de timp a circuitului AGC cat mai scurta (la receptie) si sa nu supramodulati.

Frecventele utilizate pentru acest mod sunt, in principiu, cele utilizate pentru retele bazate pe ALE (Automatic Link Establishment) si sunt actualizate periodic pe pagina www.hflink.com.

In marea majoritate a timpului, statia mea este in QRX pe 14,10950 Mhz.

Voi mai completa acest material cu noi informatii despre "peripetiile" cu RFSM2400.

Adrian

Yo3hjv

10 august 2007

How to sound like a LID on local repeaters

How to sound like a LID

Step One: Use as many "Q" signals as possible. Yes, I know they were invented solely for CW and are totally inappropriate for FM, but they are fun and entertaining. They keep people guessing as to what you really meant. I.E. "I'm going to QSY to the phone." Can you really change frequencies to the phone? QSL used to mean, "I am acknowledging receipt", but now it appears to mean, "yes" or "OK". I guess I missed it when the ARRL changed the meaning. It is also best to use "OK" and "QSL" together. Redundnat redundancy is the better part of Lid-dom.

Step Two: Never laugh when you can say "HI HI". No one will ever know you aren't a long time CW rag-chewer if you don't tell them. They'll think you've been on since the days of Marconi.

Step Three: Utilize an alternative vocabulary. Use words like "destinated" and "negatory". It's OK to make up your own words here. I.E. "Yeah Tom, I "pheelbart zaphonix" occasionally myself."

Step Four: Always say "XX4XXX" (Insert your own call) "for I.D." As mentioned in Step One, anything that creates redundancy is always encouraged. That's why we have the Department of Redundancy Department. (Please note that you can follow your call with "for identification purposes" instead of "for I.D." While taking longer to say, it is worth more "LID points".

Step Five: The better the copy on two meter FM, the more you should use phonetics. Names should be especially used if they are short or common ones. I.E. "My name is Al... Alpha Lima" or "Jack.. Juliet Alpha Charlie Kilo." If at all possible use the less common HF phonetics "A4SM... America, Number Four, Sugar Mexico." And for maximum "LID points", make up unintelligible phonetics. "My name is Bob... Billibong Oregano Bumperpool."

Step Six: Always give the calls of yourself and everyone who is (or has been) in the group, whether they are still there or not. While this has been unnecessary for years, it is still a great memory test. You may also use "and the group" if you are an "old timer" or just have a bad memory. Extra points for saying everyone's call and then clearing in a silly way - like "Tthis is K2xxx, Chow, Chow."

Step Seven: Whenever possible, use the wrong terminology. It keeps people guessing. Use "modulation" when you mean "deviation", and vice-versa. And even if the two-meter FM amplifier you're using is a Class C type amp, and thus not biased for linear amplification, be sure to call it your "linear." Heck, refer to all FM-style amplifiers as "linears." You'll be king of the "wrong terminology" hill.

Step Eight: If someone asks for a break, always finish your turn, taking as long as possible before turning it over. Whenever possible, pass it around a few times first. This will discourage the breaker, and if it is an emergency, encourage him to switch to another repeater and not bother you.

Step Nine: Always ask involved questions of the person who is trying to sign out. Never let him get by with just a "yes" or "no" answer. Make it a question that will take him a long time to answer.

Step Ten: The less you know on a subject, the more you should speculate about it in the roundtable. Also the amount of time you spend on the subject should be inversely proportionate to your knowledge of the subject even though you have no damn clue.

Step Eleven: Always make sure you try to communicate with only a handheld and a rubber duck antenna. Also, make sure you work through a repeater that you can hear very well, but it cannot hear you. This will put out a kind of "LID mating call": "Well, Joe, I can hear the repeater just fine here. I wonder why it can't hear me?" You will score maximum LID points if you are mobile, and with the radio lying in the passenger seat.

Step Twelve: If you hear two amateurs start a conversation, wait until they are twenty seconds into their contact, and then break in to make a call, or better yet to use the auto-patch. Make sure you keep the repeater tied up for at least three minutes. This way, once the two have re-established contact, they won't even remember what they were talking about.

Step Thirteen: You hear someone on the repeater giving directions to a visiting amateur. Even if the directions are good, make sure you break in with your own "alternate route but better way to get there" version. This is most effective with several other "would-be LIDs", each giving a different route. By the time the visiting amateur unscrambles all the street names whizzing by in his mind, he should have moved out of the range of the repeater. This keeps you from having to stick around to help the guy get back out of town, later.

Step Fourteen: If an annoying station is bothering you, make sure your other "LID" buddies have a "coded" frequency list. Even though "CODES" are strictly forbidden on Amateur Radio, it's really neat to practice "James Bond" tactics.

Step Fifteen: Always use the National Calling Frequency for general conversations. The more uninteresting, the longer you should use it. Extra points are awarded if you have recently move from an adjacent frequency for no reason. Make sure when DX is "rolling" in on 52.525 that you hang out there and talk to your friends five miles down the road about the good old CB days!

Step Sixteen: Make sure that if you have a personal problem with someone, you should voice your opinion in a public forum, especially a net. Make sure you give their name, call, and any other identifying remarks. For maximum points, make sure the person in question is not on the repeater, or not available.

Step Seventeen: Make sure you say the first few words of each transmission twice, especially if it is the same thing each time. Like "roger, roger" or "fine business, fine business". I cannot stress enough about encouraging redundancy.

Step Eighteen: If you hear a conversation on a local repeater, break in and ask how each station is receiving you. Of course they will only see the signal of the repeater you are using, but it's that magic moment when you can find a fellow "LID", and get the report. Extra points are awarded if you are using a base station, and the repeater is less than twenty-five air miles from you.

Step Nineteen: Use the repeater for an hour or two at a time, preventing others from using it. Better yet, do it on a daily basis. Your quest is to make people so sick of hearing your voice every time they turn on their radio, they'll move to another frequency. This way you'll lighten the load on the repeater, leaving even more time for you to talk on it.

Step Twenty: See just how much flutter you can generate by operating at handheld power levels too far away from the repeater. Engage people in conversations when you know they wont be able to copy half of what your saying. Even when they say your uncopyable, continue to string them along by making further transmissions. See just how frustrated you can make the other amateur before he finally signs off in disgust.

Step Twenty One: Use lots of radio jargon. After all, it makes you feel important using words ordinary people don't say. Who cares if it makes you sound like you just fell off Channel 19 on the citizen's Band? Use phrases such as "Roger on that", "10-4", "I'm on the side", "Your making the trip" and "Negatory on that".

Step Twenty Two: Use excessive microphone gain. See just how loud you can make your audio. Make sure the audio gain is so high that other amateurs can hear any bugs crawling on your floor. If mobile, make sure the wind noise is loud enough that others have to strain to pick your words out from all the racket.

Step Twenty Three: Start every transmission with the word "Roger" or "QSL". Sure, you don't need to acknowledge that you received the other transmission in full. After all, you would simply ask for a repeat if you missed something. But consider it your gift to the other amateur to give him solace every few seconds that his transmissions are being received.

Step Twenty Four: When looking for a contact on a repeater, always say your "listening" or "monitoring" multiple times. I've always found that at least a half dozen times or so is good. Repeating your multiple "listening" ID's every 10 to 15 seconds is even better. Those people who didn't want to talk to you will eventually call you, hoping you'll go away after you have finally made a contact.

Step Twenty Five: Always use a repeater, even if you can work the other station easily on simplex ... especially if you can make the contact on simplex. The coverage of the repeater you use should be inversely proportional to your distance from the other station.

Step Twenty Six: When on repeaters using courtesy tones, you should always say "over". Courtesy tones are designed to let everyone know when you have unkeyed but don't let that stop you. Say "over", "back to you" or "go ahead". It serves no useful purpose but don't worry, it's still fun!

Step Twenty Seven: Use the repeater's autopatch for frivolous routine calls... especially during morning or evening commute times. While pulling into the neighborhood, call home to let them know you'll be there in two minutes.... or, call your spouse to complain about the bad day you had at work. After all, the club has "measured rate" service on their phone line so they get charged for each autopatch call. Your endeavor is to make so many patches in a year that you cost the club at least $20 in phone bills. That way you'll feel you got your money's worth for your dues!

Step Twenty Eight: Never say "My name is ....." It makes you sound human. If at all possible, use one of the following phrases: a) "The personal here is ..." b) "The handle here is..."

Step Twenty Nine: Use "73" and "88" incorrectly. Both are already considered plural, but add a "s" to the end anyway. Say "best of 73's" or "88's". Who cares if it means "best regards" and "love and kisses." Better yet, say "seventy thirds"! (By the way, seventy thirds equals about 23.3). Or talk like a 1960s CBer and sign off with "Threeeeeeees to ya!".

Step Thirty: If the repeater is off the air for service, complain about the fact that it was off the air as soon as it's turned back on. Act as though your entire day has been ruined because that one repeater wasn't available when you wanted to use it. Even thought you have never donated a penny to help out with the upkeep of it, and despite the fact that you have all 42 local repeaters programmed into your mobile radio.

Original post: http://www.repeater-builder.com/humor/how-to-sound-like-a-lid.html

VX-150

I brought one of this as a second hand unit to back-up my portable radios "fleet"... As I did'n have had already more radios than my limbs... HI So, when I saw a little ad about someone trying to sell one of this nuits, I grab it...
What to say? Is small... Really small and fits very well into my hand. Also the LCD is very small. Maybe too small for googled eyes like mine's, but it provide a lot of informations. Also nice to have alpha tag for the memorised channels.
I manage to buy a MH34B4B external microphone, a 6 cell battery holder FBA25 and a SMA to BNC adapter to use the radio with a small magnet mount antenna.
The receiver is one of the most sensitive receiver on a HT (not like the GP300 but fair enough). But not with the stock antenna. Instead I use a Maldol 3 inch stubby with yellow cap for 136-152 Mhz range. Seems to be a much better antenna for this HT.
I like the 200 memories and also I feel comfortable that I can use programming software to set the channels.
The radio is known to have a problem with the PA final stage MOS-FET transistor. It faults when transmitting with the radio wired irectly to the car's battery. As I have a Diesel car, on the go I have read on a Voltmeter more than 14V. The transistor is a 2SK2974 which is rated at 7.4V.
I did a intensive internet search and found a compatibile transistor, PD 55008L-E which is available from Farnell retail distributor. I ordered one 10 days ago and yesterday I was to pick-up from the local representative. With a helping use from a good friend with steady hand, good eyes and, of course, a hot air SMD tool, I manage to repair this good radio. Now it displays on a PWR Meter about 7W on max power, 3.5W on medium power and around 1W for low power. And all on the stock battery, 7.6V/700mA FNB-64.
I was sad to "loose" it on receive only... I do not feel the urge to push the PTT but, who knows when need to?!?
Also, a known problem is the "howling" at big audio level on receiving. This is related to a mechanical contact between a IF filter and the radio's loudspeaker and the solution is well documentated on www.mods.dk.

The radio has the keyboard lighted but the inscription on the keypad tend to vanish after a long belt carrying. The same problem but worst I encountered on the TH F7 from Kenwood!
The menu is well driven, simple and very intuitive. As per a contrario, I never manage to use the IC-2100, the mobile radio from Icom just from kepad! Even with the user manual near me! Maybe something with my Yaesu commitement, though!

Here are the specs for VX-150 taken from Universal Radio:

From the Yaesu family of companies comes the new and very affordable Vertex VX-150 2 Meter handheld transceiver. This model transmits from 144 to 148 MHz with up to 5 watts in three power levels (5/2/0.5 watts). Receive is from 140 to 174 MHz. You get both CTCSS and DCS encode/decode plus tone search scanning and 7 character alphanumeric displays. The keypad is backlit. The supply voltage is 6 to 16 VDC. The VX-150 has 209 memories and 16 keys. Manufactured to Mil-Spec 810D/E. This HTs also features, one instant recall home channel, battery saver, Auto-Power Off (APO), band scanning, memory scanning, 1 MHz step tuning and bargraph S/RF Power meter. Includes the SMA flex antenna, FNB-64 NiCad Battery, NC-72B 120 VAC wall charger and belt clip. Size: 2.3 x 4.3 x 1.1 inches 12 oz (58x109x27mm 325g). Click here for specifications. Features * 209 Memories * 5 Watts RF Output * Backlit Keypad * Alpha Display * ANI Auto Number ID * PL Encode/Decode * DCS Encode/Decode * European Tone Burst * ARTS System

The radio is now back in bussines and I intend to keep it even I do not take it on trips. Is very versatile, is taking a good care about the battery pack charging them with 80 mA.

73 DE YO3HJV

Best message over a yahoogroup!

> How many list members does it take to change a lightbulb?
>
> One to change the light bulb and a second to post that the light
> bulb has been changed (the first does not have regular email access).
>
> Fourteen to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs
> and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.
>
> Seven to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.
>
> Seven more to point out spelling or grammar errors in the posts
> about changing light bulbs.
>
> Five to flame the spell checkers.
>
> Three to correct spelling/grammar flames.
>
> Six to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb"
> ... another six to condemn those six as stupid.
>
> Fifteen to claim experience in the lighting industry and give
> correct spelling.
>
> One to post the old joke about "Hams don't change light bulbs,
> they redesign the ciruit to use LED's".
>
> Two to post that "LED's" is incorrect grammar, and that the
> plural form of LED is LEDs.
>
> Three to post that the "LED's" / LEDs postings are Off Topic
> as the current discussion is about light bulbs.
>
> Nineteen to post that this group is not about light bulbs or LEDs
> and to please take this discussion to a lightbulb (or light bulb
> or LED) forum / mailing list / chatroom / whatever.
>
> Eleven to defend the posting to the group saying that we all use
> light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this group.
>
> Two to say "I'm having to change lightbulbs tomorrow at work
> therefore it is relevant to ME".
>
> Thirty-six to debate which method of changing light bulbs is
> superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light
> bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.
>
> Seven to post URLs where one can see examples of different light
> bulbs.
>
> Four to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly and then post
> the corrected URL (bracketed inside <> characters so that
> word wrap does not break the URLs).
>
> Three to post about links they found from the URLs that are
> relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to
> this group.
>
> Thirteen to link all postings to date, quote them in their entirety
> including all headers, trailers and signatures, and add "Me too".
>
> Another four that again quote the above "all postings"and add "Me three".
>
> Five to post to the group that they are quiting the list because
> they cannot handle the light bulb controversy.
>
> Four to ask "didn't we go through this already a short time ago?"
>
> Thirteen to say "Google is your friend", or "Do a Google search on
> light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs"
>
> Three to tell a funny story about their spouse/cat/dog/parrot/whatever
> and a light bulb.
>
> Neil WA6KLA posts and says "I have 20 file cabinets of light bulb
> manuals here, let me pull the correct one out for you and give you
> the Motorola part number."
>
> AND
>
> One group lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from
> now and start it all over again.

07 august 2007

Isola D'Elba activation - IOTA: EU-028 - Conclusion

I have the QSL cards to be printed. Here is the front of the special QSL card.
So... Seems like was a long time ago!

In that week of Elba Island activation, I made over 300 QSO's, main
ly with european stations. unfortunately, the YO3 was hard to reach... Not because it was no propagation, but because of "crocodiles"... You know... Big mouth, no ears! HI!
I was able to contact some exotic stations, like
RK1B from Kotlin Island, IT9HUV from Sicily Island, IB0/OM5AW from Ponza Island, DL40RRDXA, EA6/EA3ATM from Menorca Island, YU8/HB4FG Swiss Army Ham station in Kosovo and so on.
Many thanks to mr.
Pier Luigi Anzini, IK2UVR / N2UVR from ARI who gave me great informations about working from Italy!

First conclusion: Never, but, never I will use a horiziontal dipole from remote places such Elba Island... Why? Because the place can be very hard for such an antenna! In this situation, I can not install the dipole for more than 7 m above ground and this was bad because it was a lot of attenuation from the ground! Instead I will use a vertical center loaded antenna, made from a fishpole stick (more to come in a special post here) with a ATU.
Second conclusion: I will never carry more than 15 m of coaxial cable!!! I left on the island more than 20m of Belden cable due to the weight restrictions on air transport!
Third conclusion: I have to study more on NVIS! :-)
Fourth: Never let the child to flush with water a digital camera! :-(
Fifth: Have to be more than one radio operator because of great Lemoncello!!!

QSL-ing:
I will send the QSL card via Bureau and some of them direct. I want to send around 10 direct because was, for me at least, very special QSO-s! For other stations, I will send QSL card via Bureau, or, If requested, direct but only if I receive
one IRC coupon per envelope. To make things simpler, I can put up to 3 QSL cards into a single envelope in order to send with one IRC.
I already spent a lot of money to make special QSO's
and I want you (who asked for direct mailing) to understand the request for IRC.
Also I will send QSL card for SWL listners who asked for but they have to mention the other Ham station in QSO, with frequency (at least the band in whic
h we worked) , date and GMT. This card will be sent without IRC in exchange.
Thank you!


Sad about:
-Not able to use the 14.145 because of
it9ryh who, intentionally, made some stupid tests all day long with some recording machine and with a QRO stage!
-The short time spent on the island;

-The absence of my TS2000X...

-The lack of HDD space on my laptop for more pictures...

Interesting fact:
Using the 40m horizontal dipole, I was able to work
well on 2m and 70cm band over 600km!!! That was something special!

The request for direct QSL card can be made sending direct QSL to:
Adrian Florescu

Octavian Goga 4, bl.M26, sc.3, ap.69
Sector 3, Bucuresti, 030982
Romania

73! de yo3hjv

Below, some pictures I take:

This is not on the island but in Bologna. Some horn antennas for microwave!


View from Piombinno Maritimo Railway station.




Ferryboat at Piombino Maritimo.



Me and Maria on the ferry.



The roads at Ripalte-Costa dei Gabbiani (Seagull's Coast).



Italian style: Luxous sofa on the beach.



The villa from where I made the QSO's... Nice place... Quiet...



Some view at dusk.


Nice vessel!



Porto Azzurro.



Portoferraio.



Maria posing (20 months old).




The Prison. Hm, when I was back at home I discovered that I forget my Ham License in the scanner... OUPS!

Seagull farewell.





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